Tag Archives: family

A Poem for Mama Kat

1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.
2.) Write a poem inspired by a picture you took last week. Share both!
3.) Create a bucket list of 50 things you want to do this summer (with or without the kids!)
4.) A country you would like to visit.
5.) What is something you could stand to learn from your significant other?
2) Write a poem inspired by a pic you took.
A quiet night two boys sleeping
When the clouds gathered
Then two boys weeping.
Thunder shook the walls around
And one voice calling
Gramma, GRAMMA! sounds.
I flew down the hall with a plan,
Banish these fears
Make fun if I can.
Two boys one bed shaking, forlorn,
Fingers in ears pressed
Yea! I love a storm!
Storms are great said I above the noise
The angels are bowling
Don’t you love it boys?
Not so much it seems so I stayed
Telling stories fun,
About nature made.
The source of fear caused a blister
Not easy to calm
The source was Twister.
We huddled twice at midnight and two
Uncertain smiles now
As the storm still brewed.
Finally the storm abated,
The children asleep,
And still I waited
And watched in wonder two wee boys
Whose only call rang
In the midst of noise

and the thunder rolls





The B**ch is a Dog

The B**ch is A Dog

Well here I am for this week, dog sitting and house sitting and cat sitting while the family is in Disney.  The biggest part of the job is the dog.  She’s a lovely yellow Lab  who at six months seems monstrously strong.  Let me clarify – she is monstrously strong, although it only took the first walk for her to heel and walk and sit.  This is a good thing since should she decide to take off after a child, or car I would be spaghetti at the other end of the leash.

We used to have a black lab when the kids were growing up named Fagan who was wonderful.  I guess granddogs are a lot like grandkids.  You get to appreciate them more when they are the only focus so I see or appreciate more of her personality.

I know  Labs are very social animals.  Bree will accompany me where ever I go. To the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, and the bathroom.  The bathroom is a problem so now I firmly close the door as her curiosity makes it just too difficult to focus on the chore at hand.

Labs instill guilt even more than children.
When I firmly close that door, the look on her face is pathetic as though I am abandoning her on the side of the road.
She brings a treasured toy to me and deposits it on my lap and those brown eyes beg me, just beg me to play just when I am exhausted and have no more play left in me.

Labs love to be outside and this one wants company so about the time I am ready to go in, she stretches out on her belly and more tortured pleas are cast my way.

Labs also will eat anything ..I repeat anything.  She seems to favor plastic and I have no idea where she find it, so I spend time gently removing said product from jaws of steel.  .she also eats or chews on stones.

This dog is all love and she misses her family.  She will lay her head on her paws outside one of the children’s room and sigh and whimper.  She also tries to crawl in my lap!

She loves to show off and yesterday when a neighbor cooed over her she started leaping around the back yard tearing out great amounts of grass and throwing them in the air.

I had considered getting a dog for my apartment but now think just visiting Bree now and then will do just fine.

But my question is…if the female dog is called a bitch..which she is not…what is the male dog called?

Great time at the WEDDING..and


Will catch up on my daily posts…does 3 in one day count? As catch up? The wedding was great..and OMG have so much to tell you..not the least of which was how lovely the MOG – mother of the groom was..c’est moi!

The chef alone was out of this world..and will do a blog just on him with an interview of this incredible man..and it doesn’t hurt that he is totally hot. Okay getting a grip on myself here…What was the funniest thing..what was the best thing..were the kilts au natural…of course…what was the worst thing? What was it like staying in one of Toronto’s oldest hotels?

And what of the directors and producers present? Did I, in the throes of wine dance joie de vivre help or hinder?I cannot wait to find out…oh my….

Now What Did I do with That Body?

Yes I lost a body. Well I didn’t exactly lose it myself. I just didn’t know where it was.
A few decades ago (I love being old enough to talk in decades), I was an evening supervisor of a hospital. It was a great job. In those days staffing was stabilized and when we were busy we worked like crazy. When things slowed down so did we. Nowadays as soon as there is a dip in activity nurses are redirected so they always function at peak levels. There is no restorative period and this leads to exhaustion, depression and a general dissatisfaction.
The only exception to this is still critical care areas where the one to one ratio still exists.
Most of the employees were happy then, regardless of what went on in their personal lives, and the evening shift in particular seemed that way. My job was to make rounds, act as a resource, teach and mentor. It was a pleasure to go to work!
We had a procedure, of course, for when a patient died. The doctor was called in to pronounce, the nurses contacted the family and confirmed arrangements such as which funeral home.
One evening a family doctor was called for such an event. He was an old country doc from a little village outside the city, and most of his patients were of his generation. These were people he took on when a fresh new GP forty years previously. And they all aged together. And they were friends.
He phoned the family and promised to stop by their house on the way home. He also told me he wanted to get the funeral home details. It was a sad time as he was also grieving a friend, but it also was heart warming and I agreed.
About an hour later I got a call from switchboard saying the funeral home staff had arrived to pick up the deceased. About an hour after that they called again to inform me the death certificate had been left behind. So I head up to the floor to ask the nurse the name off the Home. She didn’t know and neither did other staff or switchboard or the orderlies or the gardener. There was no gardener. But no one knew.
One cannot proceed with a funeral without a certificate. One cannot proceed with anything!
Well I’m figuring I am a pretty smart cookie. After all I am the boss. Think Chris. Think. So I pull out the yellow pages and start calling funeral homes. After the first dozen calls I realized two things: this wasn’t going to be so easy, and the ever kind compassionate soft voiced Directors of such establishments aren’t so pleasant when the business isn’t theirs.
Finally I completed the list with no success. I tried outside the city – no luck.
I tried calling the doc but he wasn’t home and did not carry a pager.
There was only one call left to make and it had to be done carefully and tactfully.
I called the family.
Introducing myself I gave my condolences and talked about things that the patient had said during his hospitalization and asked where he would be resting. They were so glad for my call and after a chat gave the info I needed.
It was a Home forty miles away!
Everything got done. And I learned that when a family does not come to hospital following the death of a loved one, to give them a call. It was a rough way to discover that the care we deliver goes beyond the confines of any hospital.

When is a Burning Bridge a Jerk?

When is a Burning Bridge just a Jerk?

I had the opportunity today to be the bigger person.  And I did it.  Good for me you say?

The truth is…I should have done it a week ago.

I have a sister.  One of two actually.  She is the middle sister.  I have a theory about middle children and I am not sure if there is supportive legitimate documentation any where, but I consistently find  those siblings are tenacious, stubborn, combative and in their own way the most lovable.  Oh yeah and she thinks she is the boss of me.  Of the world in fact.  Kay maybe that is a slight exaggeration.

This is the kid, and I still think of her that way, that used to spit at babysitters, blatantly rebel at parents and teachers, run away (once), and argue every point arguable.

Anyway for the last couple of weeks I have heard from a couple of other family members that midsis thinks I should do something about a particular situation.  She has not called me directly.

So I patted myself on the back that I was able to stay out of the squabbling.  Squabbles are rare in my family and I can’t remember the last fracas I was involved in directly. Since this is a confession of sorts I should tell you that whilst I have not been directly involved, the subject of the squabble was frequently me.

How virtuous of me!  Well the fact is that by staying out of it, her anxiety over the situation just kept escalating.  And I knew that would happen.  And at first I found it amusing.  What she wanted me to do would add some stress to a challenging situation.

And then today I remembered that she has a best friend in the last stages of cancer.  That she has other worries and concerns.  I have let her know today that I have got things covered and offered supportive thoughts for her with her friend.

I hope her worrying and anxiety will decrease now.  No one wants their loved ones worrying needlessly.  I wish I had done it weeks ago. And today I must admit – this burning bridge has been a jerk!

It’s a Funny Thing about Perception..

One of those nights….One of those memories..

It’s a funny thing about perception….

I’m having one of those nights where the thoughts about a couple of worries ..that were not worries when I first tucked myself in….keep winding in, out and around my mind, picking up speed until it feels like a whole washer full of clothes agitating and knocking against the  delicate balance of my grey matter.

You probably know what I mean – you settle down all snugly looking forward to a well earned rest, and then from some very small dark mystic corner of your mind creeps one tiny inconsequential thought.  One of those..in the morning I must remember to … Well before you know it there is a whole chorus of..I must, I should.. I wish, I…I…I 

Then in the midst comes something unrelated; something unforgettable that somehow you had forgotten about.  Until now.

It has to do with how we impact other people.  The impressions we leave.  The impressions we can never change no matter how much we wish we could.

My folks died many years ago.  In the early nineteen eighties.  They worked hard every day of their lives.  They had both been in the second world war.  As a matter of fact that is how they met.  They married, raised five children and about the time they should have been looking at retirement in the next half decade, they both came down with cancer.  Not at the same time but within two years of each other.  But that is not what this story is about really.

I was..well still am a registered nurse…and at that time I lived in Brantford Ontario about an hour away from my family.  Dad had passed away two years previously when we received news that Mom had to have surgery.  It was the early summer of nineteen eighty-three.  The surgeon told us post-op that she had six weeks to live.

I decided to spend my time off at the hospital at night looking after my Mom.  When I got to the hospital I told the nurses on the unit that I would do her care; turning her, bathing her so they did not have to include her in their rounds.

I tried.  It was heart breaking and I realized I could not treat her like one of my patients.  So I went to the desk and asked them to do her intimate care.

I left her room to stretch my legs and search out a coffee machine.  When I returned Mom was freshly washed and turned.  I was startled to see she was completely awake and alert.  The morphine she was receiving in her intravenous had kept her pretty dozy.  But she was more than alert. She was terrified.  Her eyes were huge and her skin had the pasty pallor that only terror can impart.  

I started to walk towards her to find out what was wrong when she commanded me to stay away and not come any closer.  She said she had to see my brother right away.  By this time it was almost two in the morning and my brother was working the night shift.  I did call him and as soon as he arrived she told him to make me leave which I did.

After about ten days my Mom insisted on going home.  We set up home care and each of us took turns staying at the house with her.  She was still getting ever increasing doses of morphine and seemed in a haze most of the time.  When it was my turn to be there one day, she asked me to help her sit up on the side of the bed which I did, delicately balancing her in an upright position.

Suddenly this tiny fragile jaundiced lady looked at me and the confusion left.  With clear eyes and even clearer steady voice she said, “Chris, what was that course you took at work a few weeks ago?”

Wow, I was not aware Mom even knew I had been away for a course.  So I told her that it was one of my management courses with the Ministry of Health to help me be a better boss.  She looked at the floor for a moment before she gazed directly into my eyes.

“I thought,” she said so softly, “that it was a course on how to kill someone, and that night in the hospital I thought you had come to kill me so I would not suffer.” 

It felt like it was long time until I spoke or even breathed, and I can tell you I was afraid to speak, but I had to know why she would ever have thought such a thing.

She was able to relate very clearly about that night in the hospital when the two nurses came in to wash her and change her position.  She told me that as they turned her one nurse asked the other, “Why can’t she do it?” And the other nurse replied, “Because it is her mother.” And my mom, through her drug induced perception thought they were asking why I could not kill her.

It’s a funny thing about perception.  

I am just glad that when she died a few days later she did so knowing the truth.